Abrupt Climate Change Deemed More Likely Than Ever

The science of abrupt climate change is improvingA major new report by the U.S. Climate Change Science Program and carried out by the U.S. Geological Survey, cryptically entitled Synthesis and Assessment Report 3.5: Abrupt Climate Change, finds that future climatic shifts have been underestimated [ark], and warns of relatively low probability but debilitating “abrupt” shift in climate [search] that would be devastating. The new report builds upon earlier IPCC findings, and notes that better information means predictions continue to improve. For the United States they predict an arid and desolate Southwest as a result of drought, and a four foot rise globally in sea levels by 2100 (IPCC predictions are 1.5). The authors downplay the risk of large methane releases, but note its continued possibility.
In my twenty years as a climate advocate, the observable evidence and scientific revisions have consistently been to increase upward predictions regarding the speed and severity of climate change (to say nothing of oceans, toxics, soils, forests, water, etc.). These are not wild-eyed radicals, they are America's best scientists, and what they have to say should give pause to us all. The risk of abrupt and cataclysmic climate change that “would be life-changing” appears increasingly likely and thankfully is being given greater scientific attention and credibility. The question now is does existing political authority have the will and skill to completely restructure economic and social systems to not destroy the atmosphere? If not, it is up to us to bailout the Earth.

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4 Responses

  1. Patrick Troup says:

    A happy holidays to all, and to all a prosperous future.
    I greatly appreciate your truths Mr. Glen, and am very inspired whenever you post an article such as this one. The deepest truths bring about the great potential for resolve of a situation, and the truths you speak motivate me further to create a great movement of peace, sustainability and prosperity.

  2. Three cheers and a Happy New Year to Glen, R. Gates and scientists everywhere who will not be silenced by the chance at great wealth, power, privileges and status that are sure to be derived from saying loudly and clearly only what is politically convenient and economically expedient.
    Why not lay blame for the current economic catastrophe and the looming environmental calamity where it belongs: at the feet of the economic powerbrokers who organize and manage a colossal pyramid scheme, a modern representation of the ancient Tower of Babel? Is the pernicious denial of anthropogenic global warming and the human-driven destabilization of Earth's climate not primarily for the purpose of preserving the selfish material interests of a few wealthy and powerful people, and their minions?
    Let's look a bit more closely at the scandulous 'business' of Bernie Madoff, confidence games, Ponzi schemes and other financial vehicles for funneling, accumulating and concentrating billions of dollars in unearned wealth into the hands of a tiny minority of people who comprise the top of the global economy.
    There are many minions of the wealthy and their bought-and-paid-for politicians who “spread the word” of these schemes. Con men operate pyramid schemes. They assure “plausible deniability” and “legal cover” for all that is said and done.
    Only a telling of the truth about what they are doing is forbidden. That is the one and only thing that is verboten. Do not break their vow of silence by telling what is true about the perpetration of the schemes {ie, the only games in town, so they say}, because the “houses of cards” out of which a modern Tower of Babel is constructed immediately is exposed as fraudulent and patently unsustainable. These pyramidal constructions can withstand any force except that which is presented by speaking out loudly and clearly about what is happening in these enterprises. As soon as light of what is true was shed on Bernie's scheme, the house of cards he had constructed fell.
    Bernard Madoff may be the first of my “Not So GREAT GREED GRAB Generation's” kingpins to find that his “house of cards” has collapsed; but I dare say, Bernie will not be the last. There are other kingpins and many too many minions ready, willing and able to play along in what looks like the greatest self-enrichment scam in human history.
    Why not say that greed is not good and mean it? Why not assign value to personal honesty, accountability and transparency?
    Steven Earl Salmony
    AWAREness Campaign on The Human Population,
    established 2001
    http://sustainabilityscience.org/content.html?contentid=1176

  3. Resolution for 2009: SPEAK OUT loudly, clearly and often
    Dear Friends,
    In calling for change in our time, great scientists are speaking about what could somehow be true to wealthy and powerful people who prefer that the “business as usual” status quo be maintained. Industrial/big business powerbrokers and their bought-and-paid-for politicians want to keep things going along just as they are going now, come what may for the children and coming generations, for life as we know it, for the integrity of Earth and its environs.
    Many voices are needed to support “voices in the wilderness” like those of Jim Hansen and John Holdren, exemplary scientists who have been willing to speak truth to those with the power to make the kinds of necessary change that make belief in a good enough future at least a possibility. Assuring a chance of a good future for the children and for life as we know it is an achievable goal that will lead us to overcome the arrogance and avarice of many too many leaders of my “Not So GREAT GREED GRAB Generation” of elders.
    If too many leaders of the family of humanity choose to keep doing precisely the things they are advocating and doing now, and if we in the human community keep getting what we are getting now, then it appears a sustainable world for our children cannot be achieved. By so doing, the limited resources of Earth will be permanently dissipated, its biodiversity massively extirpated, its environment irreversibly degraded and life as we know it recklessly endangered. The current gigantic scale and anticipated growth of per-capita overconsumption of limited resources, global production and distribution capabilities, and absolute human population numbers worldwide are simply, clearly and patently unsustainable, even to the year 2050. Given Earth's limitations as a relatively small, evidently finite and noticeably frangible planet, the projected increases in these currently unbridled consumption, production and propagation activities of the human species could soon lead the human family to come face to face with some sort of colossal ecological wreckage.
    Now is the time to speak out loudly, clearly and often about what is true for you. Forget about political correctness and convenience. Let go of economic expediency and greediness. Embrace necessary change rather than waste another day preserving the selfish interests of the small group of rich and powerful people, and their many minions, all of whom are adamantly and relentlessly defending an unsustainable, same old “business as usual” status quo.
    Steven Earl Salmony
    AWAREness Campaign on The Human Population,
    established 2001
    http://sustainabilityscience.org/content.html?contentid=1176

  4. David Moore says:

    Its hardly Madoff to blame, letting the rest of us car drivers off the hook. Its all gas hog loving Americans and those who copy us. The rich are certainly evil but greed to consume resources is universal and usually only prevented by lack of opportunity The struggle is to change awareness, not provide excuses. Dave Moore Seattle

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